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Old 2013-04-05, 17:21   Link #841
YourIdeas
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With the semi-finals having at least another episode to go, I won't be surprised if Mizusawa ends up losing so that we can get to the individual match within two episodes. Despite the rather slow pacing (which I still dislike a bit), the tense-ness is just amazing, and an episode can feel like it went by in 5 minutes and 40 minutes at the same time.

Chihaya was amusing to watch, especially when you have her teammates who understand her flaws so perfectly well to fill the audience in. When she gets into serious mode however, she's even better to watch, as you know that she's constantly improving.

I still dislike the camera-guys, but at least they served a purpose this episode, essentially being some psycho-fucks who could read Megumu easily.

Outside of the camera geeks, every other character was amazing to watch, whether they're showing off their abilities (Tsutomu determining his opponent's best cards based off a towel of all things), being intimidated (Poor Nishida, getting his butt kicked by a manly girl. ), or just the background characters who make it clear that this is basically the best match that has occurred since the beginning of Chihayafuru.
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Old 2013-04-05, 18:03   Link #842
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The episode was dragged but I still liked it. Though I hope that whole tournament will finish in next 3 episodes. I want to see individual matches.
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Old 2013-04-05, 18:25   Link #843
BBOvenGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YourIdeas View Post
I won't be surprised if Mizusawa ends up losing so that we can get to the individual match within two episodes.
I've been thinking for a while now that from a "story sense" perspective, it's too soon to have Mizusawa as a team and Chihaya as an individual winning championships yet. Stories tend to follow a "rule of three." In humor, you have three things happen, and the third one is the punch line of the joke. In drama, the hero tries and fails twice, and then succeeds on the third try. The fact that our five main characters are all second-years also suggests that the story is taking that route. They fail as first-years, then again as second-years, and succeed as third-years.

But... taking that route only works if you're sure there's going to be a third season, and that's not a safe bet in showbiz. There's also the question of how to keep the audience's attention through all that time. So who knows? Maybe they'll win on the second try and then go for some other goal if there's a third season.
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Old 2013-04-05, 20:45   Link #844
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Chihaya had a hard time capitalizing after she took a card. Her contesting a card is hopeless as well. Like how the tension has risen and mostly everyone is now watching their match. It is surprising that Megumu is this strong without having a strong drive to be queen. Lol Nishida getting scared. Wonder how it'll end up. Its eps like these that i can't get enough of, it went by so fast.
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Old 2013-04-05, 21:33   Link #845
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Things are really tense in this match, especially with the whole switch of motivation. Now it seems the motivation has hit both the teams, and isn't going to be switched around again.
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Old 2013-04-05, 21:54   Link #846
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A very intense episode. At the show's end, I realized that I had been holding my breath for about the last quarter of the show.
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Old 2013-04-05, 22:48   Link #847
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It's quite emotional, especially with the music. Based on the match, Megumu's condition is as Chihaya after Shinobu match. Megumu thought the speed was the only answer. Chihaya learns more advanced approach. Megumu-chan can still prevails with her experience. That gallant girl is really a good friend of Megumu. She encourages Megumu to get back to her old self.

By the way, the quiet R-chan is still observing the match. I wonder what she is actually think about them.
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Old 2013-04-06, 01:30   Link #848
DragoonKain3
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I think Chihaya mimicking the Queen would be her undoing. Megumu has been training for the past year to beat the Queen, so I'd say she'd do well against her copycat.
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Old 2013-04-06, 01:37   Link #849
YourIdeas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
I think Chihaya mimicking the Queen would be her undoing. Megumu has been training for the past year to beat the Queen, so I'd say she'd do well against her copycat.
Chihaya isn't just mimicing the queen. She also shares some of the Master's traits, in that she can accurately aim for cards based off how a syllable is read, even if it's a double+ syllable card.
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Old 2013-04-06, 14:21   Link #850
Sol Falling
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Speaking of Suo's pre-emptive attack on multi-syllable cards, though, I thought part of that also came from his experience? As you can't reliably predict things from a person's tone of voice unless you have experience hearing them speak before. I believe the limited number of readers in karuta (and therefore the frequency of encountering the same ones again in high-level matches) was mentioned as one of the factors in allowing Suo to develop his super-hearing ability.

It seems like a bit of a stretch if Chihaya can also use that ability, even with readers whom she's never heard reading before (like Sudou in the regional finals). However, I guess maybe the mechanism is more intuitive, so that, having run into Sudou quite a few times by that point, Chihaya was still somewhat able to make use of the tones in his voice.


Anyway, as far as the episode, I really enjoyed Megumu's development. If her previous style and motivation were 'wrong' in allowing herself to be driven solely by the hopes and expectations of her friends, then Chihaya's ability to throw off and challenge her must be pushing her in the right direction. I still want/expect Chihaya to win (that female player from Fujisaki is also looking like a mighty interestin' opponent), but I wouldn't want Megumu, as someone who put so much effort and dedication into trying to answer the hopes of the people around her, to be portrayed as a villain.

My favourite part of the episode was probably Chihaya and Megumu walking toe to toe back and forth to pick up the card while contesting it with each other.

I'm a bit curious about Chihaya's thought that Megumu is who she would be if Harada-sensei hadn't taught her not to focus solely on speed. It seems like one of Chihaya's weaknesses back then--getting too bold/hasty with her guesses and making errors--doesn't really apply to Megumu? And in that case, should we assume Megumu also has a weakness to multi-syllable cards, which both she and Chihaya have been working hard to improve on?

Also, it is indeed intriguing to consider the idea that Megumu has been training specifically to go up against Shinobu. While what we've seen in this match doesn't make it look like Megumu would have made it, I wonder if she would've put up a good fight. Is Megumu's 'preparedness' to take on Shinobu the real thing, or merely over-confidence brought on by naivete and inexperience? After all, Yumi (was it? The previous challenger) got completely shut down last year.

If we can take the evaluation that Megumu could put up a good fight against Shinobu at face value, then that makes Chihaya's self-evaluation that Megumu is who she could've been rather interesting. In that case, was Dr. Harada's advice about not focusing on speed too much really that critical? Or will it be the keystone, that singular advantage which will give Chihaya a chance at beating Shinobu where Megumu couldn't?

In any case, it is really awesome that we are getting to see Chihaya face off against so many awesome female opponents.
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Old 2013-04-06, 14:27   Link #851
kitten320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ars89 View Post
Chihaya had a hard time capitalizing after she took a card. Her contesting a card is hopeless as well. Like how the tension has risen and mostly everyone is now watching their match. It is surprising that Megumu is this strong without having a strong drive to be queen. Lol Nishida getting scared. Wonder how it'll end up. Its eps like these that i can't get enough of, it went by so fast.
It is actually a very common thing.
People who are not interested usually tend to have natural talent for those things. If they actually had drive, they would be at the top for sure.
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Old 2013-04-06, 14:28   Link #852
Reckoner
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Man after a 2-4 episode slump, we finally got a really good episode. Thank god.
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Old 2013-04-06, 18:50   Link #853
Kirarakim
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Excellent intense episode, this was definitely the best match of the team tournament so far and maybe my second favorite of the 2nd season so far (the one with Houko is still my favorite).

Anyways on another message board someone was nice enough to translate some info from the Chihayafuru fanbook about Chihaya, Arata, and Taichi's favorite things (including each of their favorite poems).

I didn't ask permission to post it here but hopefully they won't mind. It's in a manga spoiler thread so I am assuming not everyone is going to want to read through it

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Spoiler for Chihayaruru Fanbook Information (quote from another message board)
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

So all 3 of the main characters actually do have a poem associated with them.
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Old 2013-04-06, 20:11   Link #854
Guardian Enzo
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I'm sure we'll get many paragraphs of explanation as to why Taichi's doesn't count.

Last edited by Guardian Enzo; 2013-04-07 at 03:35.
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Old 2013-04-07, 01:28   Link #855
ginger02
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Just finished episode 9, where Arata subbed in for his friends team. I really liked that part of it. His friends seem cute in how they love Karuta. As a non-competitive person typically, I like how they just want to play Karuta and get better. And it seemed to show that Arata maybe wishes he has a team to play with, or perhaps just wants to play with his old friends Taichi and Chihaya. Since that isn't possible, he focused on the individual tournament.
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Old 2013-04-07, 03:21   Link #856
Anh_Minh
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So Taichi outgrew Arata? 'cause it looked like being maybe 1cm shorter worried him.
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Old 2013-04-08, 07:41   Link #857
Gohan78
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Originally Posted by BBOvenGuy View Post
I've been thinking for a while now that from a "story sense" perspective, it's too soon to have Mizusawa as a team and Chihaya as an individual winning championships yet. Stories tend to follow a "rule of three." In humor, you have three things happen, and the third one is the punch line of the joke. In drama, the hero tries and fails twice, and then succeeds on the third try. The fact that our five main characters are all second-years also suggests that the story is taking that route. They fail as first-years, then again as second-years, and succeed as third-years.
This is a sound reasoning but I think that they hyped Fujisaki so much that they must be Mizusawa's opponents in the final. A Fujisaki vs Akashi final won't be that interesting for the viewers.
Unless we get a full episode about the Fujisaki vs Hokuo semifinal, I'll believe that our heroes are going to win. However it's very possible that they'll lose in the final.
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Old 2013-04-08, 13:43   Link #858
hyperborealis
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This episode's title, "In my dreams, I creep closer to you," (Crunchyroll translation) comes from poem #18, the card Chihaya took from Megumu at the close of the previous episode. Here is Mostow's translation:

. Must you so avoid others' eyes
that not even at night,
. Along the road of dreams
will you draw nigh like the waves
to the shore of Sumi-no-e Bay?

The poem is a complaint to the poet's lover, whose day-time shyness extends even to dreams, disappointing the poet even in his sleep.

The Crunchyroll translation, however, has the advantage of getting at more clearly the card's significance as the title for the episode. The person who Chihaya dreams about is Shinobu: she says so, when Sumire asks her who she thinks about at night, and there was that memorable nightmare she had of Daddy Bear playing karuta with Snowmaru . "In my dreams, I creep closer to you" then is a metaphorical way of talking about Chihaya's aspiration to challenge Shinobu in a match and to beat her to become queen.

Megumu directly contests on this question of who is to be Shinobu's challenger. As we learn from her, she is not personally interested in becoming queen, but she refuses to let Chihaya become the challenger, since that would be to let down all the people who have worked to make her queen.

Chihaya herself comes to realize that Megumu is herself, or, more precisely, is the person she would have been, had she not been taught better. The animation gives us instances of that better teaching: Harada telling her not to rely on her speed, Nishida showing her how to cover cards properly, Tsutomu offering to help her to learn to listen before moving. But I would include among Chihaya's teachers Arata, who inspired her with the passion to become queen, the most important difference dividing her from Megumu.

Thus the title cards sets the question as to who is the person creeping closer to Shinobu, Chihaya or Megumu. And the clash between them becomes a fight to decide this question.

------

Since the camera trio got maligned a bit in the reactions on this board, I thought I'd note that we find out why Suetsugu put them in: they are there to mark the dissonance between Megumu's actions and feelings, what they call "the gap in her behavior." Whenever they see this gap, they go into their ridiculous swoon.

Once we know that, we can note an important instant when they do not swoon. That is the moment when Megumu seizes back the leadership of the team from Yu-chan, and answers Taichi's team shout with her own. The camera guys want Megumu to do what she wants, and not just what others want her to do. Their non-swooning approval at this moment lets us know Meguma has made an important character development, and is now fighting because she herself wants to win.

At the close, not only have the two teams lifted the battle to a new level of intensity, both aces have achieved important character development in the process.

-----

As in the previous episode, this episode can be followed card by card in terms of karuta strategy. But, since my post here is too long already, I'll leave that undone. Still, people should appreciate that Suetsugu is presenting here a fully-worked out match in technical detail. It is not just Chihaya and Megumu taking random cards.
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Old 2013-04-12, 15:07   Link #859
Bern-san
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Fantastic episode, I nearly felt like crying too at the end of the match. It was very intense.
The best one of this tournament in my opinion compared to how annoying I found last week's episode.
I was happy that we got a bit of scenes with Arata, Shinobu and co.

And I can't forget to mention how I remembered this week's UtaPri episode due to that funny karuta game they did
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Old 2013-04-12, 16:04   Link #860
YourIdeas
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Episode 14: Good end to a very tense, very exciting match. I had a feeling that despite her efforts, Chihaya would lose and need to rely on her teammates. Tsutomu still proving that he's constantly improving, and looking to use his data-gathering abilities to define his own style of play. Nishida, who was an important character last season, is taking a step back it seems to give the lower class members their time to shine as being winning teammates and not just sacrificial pawns. I feel like bad things are gonna happen now that Tsukuba is pretty much guaranteed to play in the finals, but Kanade always felt like a low stamina character me, so her "I can't do it!" remark was a bit expected. With their character interactions as well, it looks like SumirexTsutomu and Kana-chanxTsukuba ships are starting to look more plausible than TsutomuxKana-chan.

Chihaya's moments this episode weren't as strong as the previous two. She still gets down about losing which will probably affect her performance against Fujisaki. Her loss felt anti-climatic but much like Kana-chan, she gave a highly expected response.

With Team-Megumu barely defeated, it looks like we'll be stuck with another 2-3 episodes against Fujisaki. Season's a bit slow, but still rather enjoyable.
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